Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


Manager of research and research education, Yiddish

My research includes publications and conference papers that describe and analyze cultural, literary and linguistic phenomena in the fields of Yiddish literature, Jewish-American literature, Holocaust testimonies, and Jewish life-writing. My main scholarly contribution to the field of Yiddish studies is the monograph Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers (2005). This study examines the modern autobiography in Yiddish as it originated in the second half of the nineteenth century and developed in various transcontinental centers in the twentieth century. The book is the first comprehensive scholarly examination of the Yiddish autobiographical genre.
My current scholarly work, the forthcoming book Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after 1945 focuses on post-1945 Jewish literature in Yiddish and English including fiction by I.B.Singer and Chaim Grade, poetry by Yankev Glatshteyn, Avrom Sutzkever, and testimonial literature by Leib Rochman and Elie Wiesel.


About the research

Research key words:

Jewish Literature, Yiddish language and culture, Holocaust, Scandinavian studies, Jewish American studies and Life-Writing


 Ph.D., Columbia University, 1996, Yiddish Literature, Department of German. Advisor Dan Miron. 

M.Phil., University of Copenhagen, 1983. Scandinavian Philology                                    

B.A., University of Copenhagen, 1977. Comparative Literature

Academic Positions:

2011- Center of Languages and Literatures, Lund University, Sweden. Docent/Associate Professor.

2003-2011   University of Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies and Committee on Jewish Studies. Senior Lecturer in Yiddish.  

2003-2005    Northwestern University, Jewish Studies and German. Lecturer in Yiddish.

1998-2002    Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sheldon Drobny Assistant Professor of Yiddish and Hebrew Languages and Literatures.

Visiting Positions:

          2018 January:  One month course “The Early Writings of I.B.Singer”  in the YIVO/Bard College Winter program    

          2008: Indiana University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Reading Yiddish For Holocaust Research. Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages. June 16-July 25.

         2006:  University of Vilnius. Vilnius Yiddish Institute Summer Program, 4 weeks. Yiddish teacher.

         2002:  Fall semester. University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies. Visiting Assistant Professor

Academic Grants and Awards:

2017:     The Workmen’s Circle/Dr. Emanuel Patt Visiting Professorship in Eastern  European Jewish Studies at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York. Two months fellowship for the project The Bilingual Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, January and May.

2016: Grants for the Danish translation of Sutzkever’s prose and memoirs from Statens Kunstråd   (The Governmental Art Council) and Dansk Forfatterforening (Danish Writers Guild). 

2016:     Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of Texas, Austin. One-month Fellowship, November 27-December 23 for research in the I.B.Singer archive.

2014-2016:    Vetenskabsrådet(Research Council, Sweden). 3 year grant for the project The Bilingual Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer: Novels, Translations, World  Literature.

2013: Edwin Gale Fellowship. Research in the I. B. Singer archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of    Texas, Austin, Jan.2-31, 2013.

2009:  Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, August 3-December 30.

2005-2006: Research Fellow at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center of Contemporary Judaic Studies, University of Miami.

2003:             Vivian Lefsky Hort Memorial Fellow. Grant from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research 

2003:             YIVO Society in Chicago. Grant for the publication of Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers.Koret Jewish Studies Publication Subsidy, San Francisco. Grant for the publication of Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of Yiddish Writers.               


Survivors and Exiles: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust(Wayne State UP, 2015)

MLA Award: Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish. Honorable Mention 


Imagining Lives: Autobiographical Fiction of YiddishWriters (Wisconsin UP, 2005)

 Edited Books:

Exploration in Modern Yiddish Culture (325 pages and 10 contributors). MarionAptroot and Jan Schwarz, eds.Dusseldorf University Press (forthcoming 2019). Proceedings from the conference “Yiddish Culture in its European Context”, Lund University October 2012, and additional essays.

I.B.Singer, In the World of Chaos: Early Writings. A bilingual anthology of Singer’s early Warsaw fiction and criticism translated into English. Edited and with an introduction by Jan Schwarz (Modern Language Association, forthcoming 2021).

Editorships of Journals:

Editor. “Multilingual Jewish Literature in America,” Special Issue of Prooftexts: A Journal  of Jewish Literary Historyvol.30 (1) (2010). 

Coeditor with Gaby Finder, University of Virginia, Antony Polonsky, Brandeis and Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry: “Memorializing the Holocaust”. 2008. 

Selected articles forthcoming and published after 2004 (refereed articles identified with *):

*” I.B.Singer's Art of Ghost-Writing: Enemies, A Love Story”. In I’am Allowed – I’am Jewish: Humor after the Holocaust. Edited by Gabriel Finder, David Slucki and Avinoam Patt. Wayne State University press (forthcoming 2019).

* “The Lost Souls of Meshugah: Textual Transmission of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s World Literature,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry. Forthcoming Volume 31, 2019. Hebrew University.

*”Transnational Ashkenaz: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust”.Premiers savoirs de la Shoah. Ed. Judith Lindenberg.Éditions du CNRS2017:231-245. (in French)

*”What is your favorite work of Abramovitsh?”Afn Shvel. Gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zshurnal. New York (in Yiddish). Winter/Spring, 2018. No. 378-379, p.5-6.

*”Avrom Sutzkever’s Holocaust Stories: A Hidden Scroll”. Afn Shvel. Gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zshurnal. New York (in Yiddish). Winter/Spring, 2016. No. 370-371, p.15-21.

*”Transnational Ashkenaz: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust”. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis eds. Ruth Illman. Open Access, published April 10, 2016.

*“Post-War Yiddish Holocaust Literature”, Jewish Holocaust Literature, ed. Alan Rosen, Cambridge UP(2013):102-117. 

*“Such a Rag-Bag”: The Historical Novel as Spectacle, neo-Hasidic Hagiography, and Pseudo-Territory.” Joseph Opatoshu: A Yiddish Writer Between Europe and America(Studies in Yiddish 11):97-111. Legenda, London 2013. Eds. Sabine Koller, Gennady Estraykh, and Mikhail Krutikov

*“Nothing but a Bundle of Paper”: Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Literary Career in America,” in  Marion Aptroot, Efrat Gal-Ed, Roland Gruschka and Simon Neuberg, eds. Leket. Jiddistik heute | Yiddish Studies Today | yidishe shtudyes hayntDüsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press (dup), 2012:189-207.

 *“Speaking Tevye der milkhiger in Danish: Performance, Humor and World Literature”. Scholem Aleichem in Translation and the European Context, ed. Gennady Estraykh (Agenda, 2012):199-215

*“Glatshteyn, Singer, Howe and Ozick: Performing Yiddish Poetry at the 92 Street Y, 1963-1969,” Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary Historyvol.30 (1) (2010):61-96

*”Blood Ties: Leib Rochman’s Yiddish War Diary” in The Memorial Books of Eastern European Jewry, ed. Rosemary Horowitz (McFarland Press 2010):163-182. 

*“Encounters with German Language and Literature in Yankev Glatshteyn’s Work”, Between Two Worlds: Yiddish-German Encounters, eds. Jeremy Dauber and Jerold Frakes. Studia Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam. (University of Amsterdam 2009):197-212.

*“Three Obstacles to a Critical Biography of Sholem Rabinovitsh” Zutot(Amsterdam 2008): 


* “1953/1954 – A Year in Yiddish Literature.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol.23, 

     (2008), ed. Ezra Mendelsohn: 185-201.

*”Confrontation and Elegy in the Novels of Chaim Grade.” The Multiple Voices of Modern Yiddish Culture, edited by Shlomo Berger, Studia Rosenthaliana(Amsterdam 2007):30-55.

*“The Original Yiddish Text and Context of Night,” MLA Teaching Approaches to Elie Wiesel's Night, ed. Alan Rosen (2007):52-58.

*“A Library of Hope and Destruction: The Yiddish Book Series Dos Poylishe Yidntum, 1946-1966,” and “Appendix: List of 175 Volumes of Dos poylishe yidntum.”POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry. 2008:173-196 

*“Yankev Glatshteyn,” Dictionary of Literary Biography: Yiddish Literature, vol.333. Ed. Joseph Sherman (Bruccoli Clark Layman, New York 2007):45-55. 

*“After the Destruction of Jewish Vilna: Abraham Sutzkever’s Poetry, Testimony and Cultural Rescue Work, 1944-1946,” East European Jewish Affairs, ed. John Klier, Vol.35, No.2, December 2005:209-225

*“The Voice of the Yiddish Poet: Avrom Ber Tabatshnik’s Interview With Yankev Glatshteyn in New York, 1955,” Yiddish After the Holocaust  (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 2004):74-91

Editor. “Multilingual Jewish Literature in America,” Special Section of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History vol.30 (1) (2010). ”Introduction”, 1-5.
ISSN 0272-9601

Coeditor with Gaby Finder, University of Virginia, Antony Polonsky, Brandeis and Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College POLIN 20: Studies in Polish Jewry: “Memorializing the Holocaust”. (2007)
ISBN 978-19-041-1305-8


Books (3)
Editorships (3)
Articles (4)
Book chapters (8)
Encyclopaedia entries (1)
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (2)

Research portal (Lund University)



  • Manager of Research and Research Education at Yiddish


Jan Schwarz

Senior Lecturer, Manager of Research and Research Education
Centre for Languages and Literature

Contact information

E-mail jan.schwarzsol.luse

Phone +46 46 222 73 93

Room SOL:A309b

Visiting address Helgonabacken 12, Lund

Postal address Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 20